Ice, snow, and cold mean big business for auto body shops

ST. LOUIS – This winter seems to be worse than recent ones and also much better for people in the car repair business. At Schaefer Autobody Center they were in the process of repairing 80 vehicles at the moment, about half of them because of the cold, ice, and snow.

“I saw 14 on the way in this morning,” said John Cook, Schaefer Autobody Center.

The brutal weather has been very good for car repair companies like Schaefer. The company estimates business is up as much as 35 percent compared to the recent mild winters.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in volume of business coming through,” Cook said.

What used to be no big deal, like tapping someone’s car bumper, can now be very expensive.

“If you get a tap on that bumper, it’s sensors, it’s a variety of collision avoidance technology that’s underneath the bumper, so you always have to worry what’s going on there too,” Cook said.

Companies like Spencer Auto Glass expect the bone-chilling cold to cause more cracked and broken car windows and business to double in the next few weeks. St. Louis is apparently one of the best places for windshield repair companies. The intense heat of summer and the bitter cold of winter are ruthless.

“Stick around, the weather changes, you know, real quick; it causes the glass to break more often,” said Steve Huskey, an installer for Spencer Auto Glass.

Cyrus Mistry’s car windshield only had a small nick but he didn’t want to wait.

“Especially with cold like this, I’d rather pay repairs before it makes it even worse,” Mistry said.

Repair appointments were booking up quickly. People may have to wait a few weeks to get their car repaired.

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